Kevin Magnussen believes his tenth place at the Singapore Grand Prix was the hardest-fought point of his career so far, but isn’t expecting a repeat any time soon.
Haas hadn’t scored on a Sunday since the Miami Grand Prix, but had a golden opportunity with Magnussen starting sixth and Nico Hulkenberg ninth in Singapore. As has often been the case, the race pace didn’t match the qualifying performance but Magnussen recovered from losing multiple positions at one stage to climb back into 11th and then inherit 10th when George Russell crashed on the final lap.
“We’re pleased with that,” Magnussen said. “It was a hard fight and I don’t think I’ve ever fought so hard for a point, but I really, really wanted it and after a good qualifying it would have been so disappointing not to get anything out of it.
“It looked tough at one point, and once I had that off in Turn 1 and 2 I thought it was game over, my tires were just done.
“So we pitted for a soft and it worked really well. The pace was good, I made up a few positions and then a few people crashed and I got a point, so I’m glad I worked so hard for that.
“I just tried as hard as I could. I wanted to make sure there was nothing left out there and it paid off.”
Magnussen was particularly proud of the way Haas took advantage of the chance to score on Sunday, although he believes the track characteristics at Suzuka this coming weekend will prove painful for the team.
“We got an opportunity and we took it – we were ready to capitalize. That’s what I always say. We go into these races and we know the race pace isn’t going to be that good and tire degradation is not on our side and we’ve just got to be ready to take any opportunity there is and we did that.
“I think (Singapore) with the sharp 90-degree corners, you don’t have to combine so long. The entry phase is very sharp, so that phase is a lot shorter on this track for most of the lap, so that means we’re not as exposed in the weakness we have in the car.
“Suzuka is the opposite to that, very, very long entries and exits, it’s not really what we like so much!”